Exelon broke this news today. But there's something interesting in this news, as well as news of an NRC meeting from Bay City. Notice that essentially, nuclear power plants are on the fast track for approval.
Exelon Nuclear announced plans today to apply for a combined construction and operating license application, a preliminary step in securing a plant.
Video from the Victoria Advocate.
Also, the NRC was in Bay City talking about the plans for the South Texas Project.
BAY CITY - It was a standing room only crowd Wednesday night for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's public outreach meeting concerning the proposed addition of two reactors to the nuclear plant near Bay City
On June 21, 2006, NRG Energy officials announced plans to expand the South Texas Project at its site near Wadsworth. The expansion will cost about $5.2 billion. Two reactors already operate at the site.
The article says that it was a standing room only crowd, but the article mainly only quotes those who speak positively about the project. Except, again, for the fast tracking piece. This should trouble everyone.
In the past, STP would've had to apply for a construction permit and an operating license separately. But the current procedure allows STP to get the permit and the license at the same time, Lyons said.
"The purpose of this is to allow us to resolve any issues before construction begins," he said.
Audience member Donna Hoffman of the Lonestar Chapter of the Sierra Club objected to the new combined process, referring to it as "fast tracking the process."
The Houston Chronicle has more on that fast tracking process. But I'll tell you what I object to-if you don't want a nuclear plant in your neighborhood, you can't object on the basis that it is Nuclear Energy but rather finding some kind of flaw in the application. Completely unfair.How has it turned out that so many meetings that are so-called *public* meetings are no more than information getting pushed rather than an honest attempt to find out what the community at large's opinion is, with redress.
Several companies around the country have applied for and received early site permits that essentially approve locations for possible future nuclear plant development.
The process for building and starting up the proposed reactors will be different from the one used in the 1970s and 1980s, Burnell said.
The two-step process companies used back then could be costly and time-consuming. Companies first applied for construction licenses, a process that was open to challenges at many points. Once the plant was built they then applied for an operation license, which could also be challenged on many levels.
Under the new process companies apply for a joint construction and operation license, and the NRC staff reviews the safety and environmental aspects of a project concurrently.
Once an application is filed — which in the case of South Texas will likely be this fall — it will be made public online and copies will be available in public places near the plant site, Burnell said.
The NRC has 30 days to determine if the application is complete, at which point it will announce a schedule for the review. At that time individuals or groups can file challenges.
"The challenge can't just be based on a dislike of nuclear power but a challenge to specific parts of the application itself," Burnell said.